Friday, January 3, 2014

Wardrobe Purging

I was inspired by Debbie Roes’s blog, Recovering Shopaholic, to completely weed through my clothing some weeks ago. It inspired me to let go of many things- a coat I kept out of price guilt that didn’t fit well, things I had been given that didn't fit or weren't my style anymore, things that I bought but never wore because of fit or style issues, things I no longer fit in etc. I ended up with quite a pile of stuff to part with immediately. Combined with the other purges I have done over the last year, my wardrobe is much much smaller than what it was.

Here's the current state of affairs vs. the previous numbers (numbers are approximate, there’s been a lot of in and out and the numbers only reflect a total at one time point rather than total number of different garments I owned at any point this year, which would be a little higher):

10 dresses vs. 14
5 blazers/jackets vs. 19
4 coats vs. 6
4 skirts vs. 19
28 tops vs. 95
6 sweaters vs.10
12 cardigans vs. 27
8 camis/tanks vs. 10
22 pants vs. 35
19 pairs of shoes vs. 26

Overall, a total reduction of 143 items, or 55%. There are quite a few things in my current wardrobe that I am going to give a trial run to and make a decision on in the next three months if I am keeping or not. I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress, but more importantly feel much less stressed when standing in front of my closet in the morning and deciding what to wear. It just makes more sense and I’m happy to say that I don’t start my day with that sense of shame and guilt like I used to. It was my normal and I never realized how it was affecting me until I changed it. I don't feel I have it quite right yet though. I would like to reduce casual tops, add work tops, skirts, jackets, and dresses. Not in any mass quantities!

The most eye-opening thing though post-purge was what I HAD vs. what I THOUGHT I had.  Once I sorted out everything and organized my things back into my closet, I had 3 blazers and only 1 was versatile enough to wear often. I only had a dozen tops that were office appropriate (and not all of them are really up to par). I had another dozen+ casual tops!  My needs and my closet do not match. I dress in a ‘dressy’ business casual 4 days a week, a ‘dressy’ casual on Fridays, and my weekend wear isn’t too far from my Fridays. So I need a wardrobe of 90% professional wear and 10% casual wear ideally. I actually have more casual/non-work appropriate tops than I do dressy ones, so this makes zero sense. I also own way more casual pants than necessary. The funny part is that I kept buying to fill a perceived need (something for the weekend!) that I didn’t have but didn’t know it.

I’ve been working on a strategic shopping plan in addition to my new budget so that I can stop this vicious cycle of in and out, and hopefully so that I can make better FEWER purchases and fewer mistakes. I’ll talk more about this in the next post.

Does anyone else have any experiences with wardrobe editing to share? Any suggestions?

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